LYMAN – Mississippi Gulf Coast got an important split Friday against No. 4 Itawamba, handing the Lady Indians only their second loss in the state this season.
The Lady Bulldogs (16-12, 11-9) used six extra-base hits to win the opener 7-4, then saw their bats quieted in a 3-0 in the nightcap at Harrison Central High School.
"A split at home normally isn't good," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "We played the No. 1 team in the state. I'm a little bit disappointed in the second game, but their pitcher was tough. We got a big win in the first. It's going to benefit us down the road."
Itawamba is now 31-7, 22-2.
Gulf Coast took a 1-0 on an RBI double by Jada White (Fr, Philadelphia/Philadelphia), and made it 3-0 in the second thanks to a Bailey Massey (Fr, Bruce/Bruce) RBI triple and a sacrifice fly by Megan Sexton (Fr, West Harrison/Gulfport).
After Itawamba scored two in the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs answered immediately on Massey's RBI single, an RBI triple by Madison Wall (Fr, East Central/Hurley) and an RBI single by Brittney Triplett (So, Brandon/Brandon).
Avery Sanders (Fr, E.D. White/Thibodaux, La.) helped her own cause in the fifth with a sacrifice fly, then held off ICC the rest of the way.
She scattered eight hits and struck out four to improve to 3-2. Gulf Coast played stellar defense in both games.
"Our defense is coming along," Long said. "It's been getting better and better, diving for balls, making plays and feeding off that."
Wall, White and Massey had two hits for Gulf Coast. White had two doubles.
"We just focused on staying consistent once you get your groove," White said. "We knew she was good, so we had to hit the best pitches she threw ahead in the count."
The Lady Bulldogs managed only two hits in the second game.
Betty Mingo (Fr, Choctaw Central/Philadelphia) took the hard-luck loss, allowing on six hits in a complete game.
Gulf Coast heads to Senatobia to play Northwest on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Lady Bulldogs have won three of their last four after Friday's split.
"It's really big because they're the No. 1 team," Wall said. "I really wish we'd gotten that second one."
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